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John Lalor - Senior Photographer NMS

No visitors to be allowed in Newgrange chamber for Winter Solstice sunrise, OPW confirms

The solstice sunrise event will once again be livestreamed from within the chamber.

THERE WILL BE no members of the public admitted to Newgrange to view the Winter Solstice for a second year in a row as the chamber remains closed. 

The Office of Public Works today announced the decision not to host the annual Winter Solstice lottery draw which is the usual process that chooses that successful participants who are allowed to be in the chamber during sunrise for each of the solstice mornings. 

The solstice sunrise event will once again be livestreamed from within the chamber, the OPW confirmed. 

“This will enable everyone to experience the wonderful phenomenon from the comfort of their homes in locations throughout the world,” it said. 

The Winter Solstice is an astronomical phenomenon which marks the shortest day and the longest night of the year. In the Northern Hemisphere, the Winter Solstice happens on 21 or 22 December. 

At sunrise on the shortest day of the year, for 17 minutes, direct sunlight can enter the Newgrange monument through the specially contrived small opening above the entrance known as the ‘roof box’ to illuminate the chamber. 

The OPW added that the continued absence of visitors from the chamber at Newgrange presents it an additional opportunity to further its research project.

The project tracks, measures and monitors the movement of the winter sunlight coming through the roof box into the passage and chamber and determines how the beam of dawn light interplays with the chamber as we move towards solstice and then pass it. 

Further details of the livestream event from within the chamber on the solstice mornings in December  will be published in the coming weeks. 

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